Frank’s Secret Sauce
After eight days and 50 events, this is the conclusion of The Festival Series Malta. Martin ‘Franke’ von Zweigbergk has brought his tour to the Mediterranean archipelago, where it will undoubtedly return next year due to the high demand for a different kind of poker experience.
Frank’s secret sauce is the way he caters to mixed game fans
The big event was the €550 (US$594) main event of course, which was won by Oesten Brenden of Norway for €60,700 (US$65,590) but Frank’s secret sauce is how he caters to mixed gaming fans, embracing a crossover with the casino. Games and puts a lot of thought into fun adventures outside the tables.
The focus is very much on the player experience as the festival attracts people from all over Europe with the help of Unibet Poker and its other partners. As someone who has attended many iterations of the festival over the years, I can honestly say the only bad thing about them is listening to Franke gloat loudly when they win a tournament or win some money in a cash game (literally crazy going from room to room announcing these things. )
In the opening days of the Malta Festival, records have been broken. The Sviten Special event got 79 entries, which is an amazing effort when you consider that only 28 people in the world know how to run it. The 8-Game event featured 93 players, which is another huge achievement.
Not to be outdone, Texas Hold’em players also came out strong with the €250 ($270) PokerListings tournament also breaking attendance records with a whopping 354 entrants, resulting in a prize pool of €76,464 ($82,619). American). Younes Greer defeated Manuel Blaschke heads-up to take home the first prize of €16,200 ($17,504).
Lovelock finished sixth for €3,250 ($3,512).
Another great performance at Pokerlistings was UK regular Colin Lovelock, who made it to the final table and was chasing a winning streak, having beaten the Nottingham version back in March. Lovelock finished sixth for €3,250 ($3,512).
Diversity is the buzzword
If there is a theme to the festival, it is that there is no theme. Variety is the buzzword, and as a player it makes for a very selective poker experience. There were a lot of PLO action formats, 4-Card, 5-Card, 6-Card and PLO8 all spread out at different points in the week. There was a 1,100-euro ($1,189) PLO final to a 60-runner field and was won by Levani Ruzumashvili who lost 15,400 euros ($16,641) after a fierce showdown slide with Balazs Somodi.
There was a “Win The Button” tournament, a HORSE tournament, a Heads-up tournament, and many more Open Face Chinese Poker tournaments. There was also a Roulette tournament, a Blackjack tournament, and a Slots tournament for those who enjoy the casino cross game.
Beate Etim beat Christel Haller to win the 47 women’s runners-up
There was a Queens event for women and an event for seniors, the former hosted by Laura Cornelius and the latter sneaked in by Frank despite being a young 49-year-old. Beate Etim beat Christel Haller to beat the women’s 47 runners while Gerhard Brimmers beat Dieter Falzon in the singles head-to-head event to win the seniors event.
Quality and quantity
“Quality over quantity” is a motto to live by, but the festival is able to provide both. Sure, there are some sacrifices. With seven or eight different tournaments starting each day, it would be fair to say they eat each other up. However, there are marquee tournaments around which players plan their festival.
One such tournament is the €1,100 ($1,189) High Roller Championship which attracted a field of 70 entries generating a prize pool of €67,200 ($72,612). Welsh talent Corey Desmond won that deal after a one-on-one deal with Domenico Zappia for which they earned €18,000 ($19,450) and €17,500 ($18,909) respectively.
Marcel Vandry won a huge reward of 5,000 euros ($5,401).
Mystery Bounty tournaments are all the rage these days with festivals featuring one or two of them to inject a little lottery into the proceedings. This is not to say that it is not a game of skill that requires strategic adjustments. shout out to me VegasSlotsOnline news Colleague Dara O’Kerney just posted A strategy book about the format. Find his top tips in his latest article, too. The festival’s mystery bounty had 202 entries and Marcel Vandry won the grand prize of €5,000 ($5,401).
The Hendon Mob Championship was another tournament with added appeal, to some at least:
That is, of course, until you experience the view from the rail:
The Hendon Mob Championship was eventually won by famous Norwegian Jonas Engedal who defeated Danielle Coroneo heads-up to claim the top prize of €6,100 ($6,590).
Brenden wins the main event
Come Sunday, all eyes were on the business end of the main event. There were 617 entries on five of the days, 95 of which made money but it all came down to 16 fighters on the final day. George Sandford had been in the cabin all day, and gave expert commentary as the action came thick and fast:
In the end, it was Oystein Brenden who prevailed, an almost wire-to-wire performance as he finished day one in chips and day two as the chip leader. As has become a tradition at the festival, a portrait of Brenden will be commissioned and no doubt given pride of place at the Banco Casino in Bratislava where the next stop will take place between November 27th and December 3rd.
Malta Festival Series Main Event Final Table Results